Sometimes as we work through life they say that things happen to you for a reason. That sentence seems so cliche to say although it is a true statement. Back in 2009 I was working late one evening and came across an Intuit ad looking for people interested in helping out the community. The article stated that they needed experienced Accounting Professionals willing to participate in a unique experience talking about their work, clients and software. A little vague, a little scary and very exciting. After all it was Intuit, the product that I was in the trenches with every living breathing day with my clients. I decided to fill out the application and see where it would take me. Little did I know that one click would change the rest of my Accounting career.
Soon after I received a call from a soon to be, and one of many, favorite Intuit employee’s, Amy Ball, inquiring about my business, my life and why I was interested in the opportunity. The application had lead me to Intuit Accountants Council, a unique experience that was rewarding but would be an adventure and a two year commitment to Intuit.
I received a call and one week later I was aboard the infamous Intuit Accountants Council. I can’t really recall anything Amy said except that I would need a photo and a bio. I’m pretty sure that Amy could hear me in California without my phone saying I would see her in the fall for our first council meeting. Next stop, bio and photo.. Yay me.. oh man.. I’m just a bookkeeper.. who does a bio..and a photo, photo of what? I was so very nervous to email and ask these important questions.
As I soon learned from the beginning, from the wonderful Jill Ward and fabulous Rich Walker, founder of the Accountants Council, #1 – there are no stupid questions, #2 – once on council always on council, #3 – we represent the 100’s of accounting professionals standing behind us. I took these words to heart, sometimes I’m sure at the chagrin at the Intuit Professional staff. But I was there to learn, tell them about all of the issues we had out in the field about the product and make sure I had a voice not only for myself but for my peers.
The two years flew by and I made many friends, learned my voice could get stronger and learned that ears are an important part of the process of learning. Listening to what is being said and hearing the overall pieces of the hardworking teams and their thoughts are just as important as the end users experience.
I continued to expand on my experience to reach out and beta test and keep my friends at Intuit strong in my life, to help them and to have them help me. They were very valuable to me and I wanted to add value to their products. I still wanted to be a voice. I became a member of Intuit’s Trainer writer Network, and started to get certified in every product that I could and to really entrench myself so I could help my clients. I wrote articles and learned about the technology and the changing cloud environment.
Funny thing about learning and education is that it forces a person to grow and expand. Realizing my thirst had begun to help my clients but also had given me confidence to reach out to my peers socially on social media and in conferences. Attending more conferences allowed me to see the growth in our industry and still stay in touch with my friends at Intuit. Beginning to make new friends with other applications and other accounting software. The world is a large place and I could no longer be a shut in bookkeeper.
The growth of my company began to change and my firm transitioned and blossomed into a virtual cloud based business model. The growth and changed allowed me to utilize the technology shift I had been visualizing in the industry that I had learned by networking and attending conferences.
I can’t really tell you all where it happened. But I think the perfect storm was at Scaling New Heights in San Antonio. I remember the networking opportunities of Tsheets, Matt Rissell and meeting David Leary, Mark Dean and Robert Chandler. The vision of Joe Woodard that the ProAdvisors and Bookkeepers were no longer to be going to be doing data entry.
I picked up steam at this conference and never looked back. I became a regular on #QBOChat (twitterchat) with Cathy Iconis and travelled on the crazy road trip with the #QBConnectOrBust crew (http://bit.ly/1faF7Om) to QBConnect 2014. I have developed my business, achieved goals of helping my clients move to the cloud, or not, but improved the accounting and business processes using technology.
Along the way I have never forgotten #3 – I am speaking for the 100’s of professionals behind me.
The decision is to now make my voice as loud as I can and scream from the rooftops..
I am now teaming up with the best in the business, as I always do, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers,ICB, is the largest membership of not for profit certified bookkeepers in the world. ICB is a global community for bookkeepers located in 110 different countries with over 180,000 members. Together we are going to raise the level of standards in the United States of Certified Bookkeeping. I am the new CEO of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. The goal in the United States is to create a community for bookkeepers, to have a voice and to create a higher set of standards for the bookkeeping community.
Intuit is teaming up with ICB to create the next generation of bookkeeper. The next generation bookkeeper will have the networking opportunities, the technology opportunities, the higher standard of core competencies, and the business path guidance. Supported by a complete independent global company in Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. ICB believes in Local Focus, National Accreditation and Global Recognition.
We are offering a special initial reduction in our membership fees. Please become a member and raise your voice.
WWW.ICBUSA.org your first year fee will be $37.50 a 50% reduction in membership fees.
Join us on the journey, in becoming a true community, help me raise the voice in our bookkeeping industry. Tell me what you want in the US, my ears are open.